Category: Europe

Brexit Day poster telling neighbors to speak English slammed by residents
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Brexit Day poster telling neighbors to speak English slammed by residents

Roger Blackwell, 68, told CNN "you don't want to give these people attention" after the "Happy Brexit Day" sign was seen on several fire doors in his building, Winchester Tower in Norwich, Friday. He said he thought someone "energized" by Brexit and "probably a fascist" had put it up.Police are investigating the poster, which told residents "we do not tolerate people speaking other languages than English in the flats."The sign, which was spotted just hours before the UK left the European Union at 11 p.m. Friday, has been attacked as "racist" on social media. The poster said "we finally have our great country back" and people wanting to speak other languages should return to their home countries and give their apartment back to the local authority "so they can let British people live here and we can return to what was normality before you infected this once great island."It added: "We do not tolerate people speaking other languages than English in the flats. We are now our own coun..

Are cell phone calls on airplane flights inevitable?
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Are cell phone calls on airplane flights inevitable?

(CNN) — Ah, holiday travel. Between huge crowds and weather delays, flying during this time of year is hectic. Now close your eyes and imagine the entire scenario with one additional annoyance: Loud talkers yammering into their cell phones at 35,000 feet.Don't worry — this potentially ear-splitting scenario isn't a reality yet. At least not in the United States. But it could be soon. Some even say it's just a year or two away.

The technology to support midair cell phone calls exists right now.

Just about every plane that offers WiFi has the bandwidth to support voice over the internet, and several international airlines allow voice calls on certain routes already. Still, at least on domestic US flights, voice calls are forbidden for four distinct reasons: flight attendants, public perception, concerns about safety and US law.

Airline officials won't even consider in-flight cell-phone calls until or unless they feel there is overwhelming demand from customers to ..

‘Hamlet’ in the skies? The story behind Taiwan’s newest airline
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‘Hamlet’ in the skies? The story behind Taiwan’s newest airline

(CNN) — Debuting its first flights in January 2020, Taiwanese start-up STARLUX Airlines could be the first new player in 30 years to upend the island's duopoly aviation market.

And even before the carrier, dubbed Taiwan's first luxury boutique airline, set its first aircraft into the air, it's been creating a stir.

Eleven minutes after opening ticket sales online on December 16, the Taipei-based carrier sold out all seats on its first three flights — Taipei-Macau, Taipei-Penang and Taipei-Danang.

But both aviation watchers and the general public are abuzz for another reason: A succession drama involving STARLUX founder Chang Kuo-wei that's so juicy he's being referred to as the aviation industry's "Prince Hamlet" by local media.

Chang Kuo-wei founded STARLUX Airlines after being ousted from his family business, EVA Airways.

courtesy Starlux Airlines

This Shakepearean tale took root in 2016, when Chang Yung-fa, founder of Taiwan's Evergreen G..

Queen agrees on ‘period of transition’ for Harry and Meghan
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Queen agrees on ‘period of transition’ for Harry and Meghan

After a crisis meeting of senior royals at the Queen's Sandringham estate north of London, the Queen said she had agreed that Prince Harry and Meghan could split their time between the UK and Canada but that "complex matters" would have to be resolved. The monarch said she had ordered final plans to be drawn up in the next few days.The highly unusual meeting was called after the couple's bombshell announcement last week that they wished to step back from their roles as senior members of the royal family. The Queen was joined at the summit by Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, while Meghan was due to have dialed in from Canada.In a statement after the meeting, the Queen said the family would have preferred the couple to "remain full-time working members of the royal family," but that they "respect and understand" Prince Harry and Meghan's "wish to live a more independent life."The Queen said the family had "very constructive discussions on the future of my g..

British Airways faces record $230 million fine
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British Airways faces record $230 million fine

It would be the largest penalty yet under a tough privacy rule known as the General Data Protection Regulation, which came into force last year in the European Union. The UK Information Commissioner's Office said that weak security allowed user traffic to be diverted from the British Airways website to a fraudulent page starting in June 2018. The regulator said the company will have a chance to contest the proposed fine.Attackers were able to harvest customer details including log ins, payment cards, and travel booking details, according to the regulator. The airline disclosed the incident in September 2018.The £183.4 million ($230 million) fine is roughly 1.5% of British Airways' annual revenue. The carrier, which is owned by IAG (ICAGY), said it would fight the penalty. "We are surprised and disappointed in this initial finding," British Airways CEO Alex Cruz said in a statement."British Airways responded quickly to a criminal act to steal customers' data. We have found no evidence of fraud [or] fraudulent activity on accounts linked to the theft," he added. GDPR forces companies to make sureRead More – Source

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D-Day: What happened during the Normandy landings?
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D-Day: What happened during the Normandy landings?

World leaders, royalty and veterans will gather at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial to mark the Normandy landings, which were the starting point for the liberation of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II. The commemoration, which will be attended by more than 300 veterans, will include an hour-long production explaining the events of D-Day, including theatrical performances, and a fly-past by Spitfires and the Red Arrows aerobatics display team. Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May will be joined by the leaders of France, Germany, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Greece, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Denmark at the event. The Queen and May will address the crowd, and May will read from a letter written by Captain Norman Skinner, of the Royal Army Service Corps, to his wife in 1944 just days before he was killed during the D-Day landings.

What was D-Day?
D-Day — the military term for the first day of the Normandy landings — was the largest amphibious invasion ever undertaken and laid the foundations for the Allied defeat of Germany in World War II. The invasion took place on June 6, 1944, and saw of tens of thousands of troops from the United States, the UK, France and Canada landing on five stretches of the Normandy coastline — codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches.Planning for D-Day began more than a year in advance, and the Allies carried out substantial military deception — codenamed Operation Bodyguard — in order to confuse the Germans as to when and where the invasion would take place. The operation was originally scheduled to begin on June 5, when a full moon and low tides were expected to coincide with good weather, but storms forced a 24-hour delay.

What happened on D-Day?
The amphibious landings — codenamed Operation Overlord — were preceded by an extensive bombing campaign to damage German defenses. Some 24,000 Allied troops were also dropped behind enemy lines shortly after midnight on the day of the invasion. Deception tactics employed in the months leading up to the attack led the Germans to believe that the initial attacks were merely a diversion and that the true invasion would take place further along the coast. Allied divisions began landing on the five beaches at 06.30 on June 6. The US troops were assigned to Utah beach at the base of the Cotentin Peninsular and Omaha beach at the northern end of the Normandy coast. The British subsequently landed on Gold Beach, followed by the Canadians at Juno, and finally the British at Sword, the easternmost point of the invasion. By midnight on June 6, the troops had secured their beachheads and moved further inland from Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword. However, not all the landings were successful; US forces suffered substantial losses at Omaha beach, where strong currents forced many landing craft away from their intended positions, delaying and hampering the invasion strategy. Heavy fire from German positions on the steep cliffs, which had not been effectively destroyed by Allied bombing prior to the invasion, also caused casualties.

D-Day in numbers
In total, around 7,000 ships took part in the invasion, including 1,213 warships and 4,127 landing craft. Read More – Source

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The secret drink recipe used to cure royals
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The secret drink recipe used to cure royals

(CNN) — Whether you find yourself in a no-frills kocsma filled with beer-swilling old timers, an elegant cocktail lair or one of Budapest's quirky ruin pubs jammed with tourists, the Hungarian capital's drinking scene has one constant.

Countless times throughout the night, the bartender will reach for the same distinctive, round-bellied bottle.

The inky, amber-tinted liquid inside is called Unicum, and with roots that delve back to the late 18th century, it's one of the most revered national drinks in Hungary.

Like that other boozy Hungarian favorite, the fruit brandy pálinka, Unicum is largely savored as an aperitif or a digestif in shot form.

Produced by Budapest based beverage company Zwack, it's a herbal liqueur comprising a secret blend of more than 40 herbs and spices aged in oak.

Less aggressive than Fernet yet beefier than Jägermeister, thick, bitter Unicum, laced with subtle piney eucalyptus notes, is indeed bracing, a taste that grows delightfully more palatable with each sip according to Unicum brand ambassador Csaba Gulyás.

"It's a bittersweet potion, which isn't easy to enjoy the first time, but then you cross that barrier and it becomes your favorite," says Gulyás.

Royal origins

Unicum was originally created to cure Habsburg ruler Joseph II of a bout of indigestion.

Courtesy of Zwack Unicum

The story behind how Unicum came to be is equal parts fabled and turbulent.

Its distinctive bottle flaunts a gold cross that pops against a red background — the first hint that its roots are medicinal.

It all began in 1790, when Habsburg ruler Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, had a bout of indigestion, and Dr. Zwack, royal physician to the Imperial Court, whipped up a herbal remedy for him.

Upon drinking it, Joseph II purportedly exclaimed, "Dr. Zwack, das ist ein Unikum!"

The "unique" elixir subsequently spread in popularity, and the Zwack company was founded in 1840 by József Zwack, an entrepreneurial descendant of the visionary doctor.

By 1895, Zwack was producing over 200 liqueurs and spirits, exporting them from a distillery that's still in use today.

Different generations of the Zwack family have always presided over the business and two of its most prominent characters are brothers Béla and János, who were at the helm during Zwack's most troubling years.

The 1930s ushered in an era of turmoil, what with the Great Depression and prohibition in the United States, leading to a decrease in demand for Zwack products.

During World War II the factory was destroyed and shortly after, communism forced the company to nationalize. However, the Zwacks hatched a plan, creating a fake recipe for the communists to use.

János found safety in the United States, while Béla stayed put at the distillery until the mid-1950s, when he decamped to Italy and started tinkering with the original Unicum again.

After Communism fell in 1989, the Zwacks bought their company back and the true, heady Unicum recipe was embraced, János's son Péter reviving the name both domestically and abroad.

"Everybody has a personal story with Unicum. It has spiritual content and it's timeless, surviving our history," explains Gulyas.

"I think I would love Unicum even if I didn't know anything of its heritage, but once you get the whole picture, wow," says Dez O'Connell, a bar consultant who oversees all the beverage programs for Budapest's BrodyLand portfolio, including the events hub Brody Studios.

"Unicum is the story of Hungary politically and socially since the Hapsburg Empire to the present day. That of course gives it a special place in most Hungarian hearts and stomachs."

A symbol of unity

The liqueur is now one of Hungary's most revered national drinks.

Courtesy of Zwack Unicum

A fixture on Budapest bar shelves, Unicum is best enjoyed while in the company of friends and family, attesting to the importance Hungarians place on convivial, food-fueled social gatherings.

Ferenc Varsányi, partner at the cozy barber shop turned cocktail den Hotsy Totsy, adds that "it brings families together. Hungarians don't drink Unicum just on special occasions. It's a symbol of unity."

It's most likely to consumed as a room temperature shot, but Varsányi prefers drinking it from a tasting glass, &quRead More – Source

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